Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Technology isn't making me happy

A few weeks ago, Harrison Ford was on The Daily Show to promote Firewall (which I thought was, well, a fiery wall of doo-doo). Since Ford's character in the movie was some kind of computer systems expert, Jon Stewart asked him if he was computer savvy. And Ford, in what's now become his typical crankiness, said he didn't know much about them. But he knew that they wouldn't make our lives as convenient as people were predicting.

"It wasn't going to make life easier," he said. "It was just going to make another category of people who come to your house to fix shit that's broke."

Actually, I thought that was really funny. Because it was true. And I've come to understand that all too well over the past six days.

Computers are a cruel mistress. Obviously, they've been good to me, giving me a voice that I've wanted since I was a teenager and keeping me in touch with the world. But man, when they go bad, they can really #@$% you. They can #@$% you in small ways, as the cord of my laptop's AC adapter did when it frayed like a rat gnawed on it. (I should probably look into that possibility.) And they can #@$% you in huge ways, as the hard drive on my father's desktop did when it suffered an inexplicable meltdown.

I haven't enjoyed being #@$%ed over the past six days. And I've been on the phone with too many people willing to find more things wrong with my machines and charge me up the @$$ while doing it. But at least they were very nice and helpful in the process.

So I'll lay off my childhood hero for a while. I don't know why you're so cranky, Mr. Ford. But you spoke the truth, and in doing so, regained a few cool points in my book. Just stop making pieces of $#!+ like Firewall, okay?